Vikings Trade Back Into First Round

Credit: Dave Martin | Associated Press

Rick Spielman was true to word in a press conference following the selection of OT Matt Kalil.  He told reporters don’t be surprised if we trade back into the 1st round.  10:42 p.m., I look up and magically the Vikings are back on the clock.

The Vikings trade their 2nd-round pick (#35) and 4th-round pick (#98) to the Baltimore Ravens to get their 29th overall pick.

The Minnesota Vikings selected Safety Harrison Smith out of Notre Dame.  Smith will join former Irish teammates Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson in Minnesota. has Smith the 2nd best safety in this years draft.

According to Rob Rang of CBS Sports, Smith is a reliable open-field tackler with excellent size (6-2, 213) and the instincts to make plays against both the run and pass.

Analysis of Harrison Smith by CBS Sports (Dane Brugler):
Strengths: Looks the part with prototypical size and strength for a strong safety … long arms with a filled-out frame. Extremely strong with natural power to make punishing hits. Physical striker who enjoys contact. Fills the run lanes hard and is a downhill athlete with an aggressive nature at the point of attack. Plays fast and closes in a flash with conviction and determination … fast in pursuit. Makes plays at all levels of the field and has strong hands to make shoe-string tackles. Read/reacts quickly and does a nice job interpreting the eyes of the quarterback. Big-time competitor and leader, never giving up on plays … goes hard at full speed. Very active pre-snap and shows natural awareness. Played
both linebacker and safety in college with 47 career starts, showing steady improvement over his time in South Bend. Very productive at Notre Dame, leaving as the only player in school history to register more than 200 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and 15 pass break-ups over his career … finished with 307 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss and 28 pass break-ups.
Weaknesses: An upright athlete who lacks ideal body flexibility and natural explosion to hold up in coverage or space. Has tight hips and struggles to turn and quickly change directions … plays stiff. Needs to be a more technically-sound tackler, often going for the knockout hit or forced fumble instead of wrapping up … hits too high and loses leverage, allowing ballcarriers to pick up extra yards. Plays overaggressive and moves too fast for his eyes … missed tackles in space and over runs plays. Has streaky instincts and doesn’t see things as quick as he needs to. Still has a lot of developing to do. Needs to play under control and disciplined … too many unnecessary facemask penalties on his record. Has poor footwork and feel in man coverage and is too hands-on when left on an island … will attract pass interference penalties. Still made too many mistakes as a senior and didn’t register an interception in 2011 after seven pick-offs in 2010.
NFL Comparison: Craig Steltz, Chicago Bears
Overall, Vikings did well on night 1 of the NFL draft.  They get two immediate starters: 1 on offense and 1 on defense.

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